LONDON: Paul Barber, experienced chief executive of English Premier League club Brighton, has said it would be “really hard to imagine” competition resuming on April 4 as currently projected.
Brighton’s match against Arsenal was postponed ahead of the wholesale wipe-out after Gunners’ manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.
The next morning the major football organisations agreed a total suspension until April 4.
Barber, interviewed on BBC television, said: “We have several teams in self-isolation, which makes it difficult to think about that date.
“Those players have not just got to self-isolate for 14 days, they’ve got to get themselves close to match fitness again, which could take another seven to 14 days. So we’ve got a number of complexities here, which go way beyond thinking of the finances.”
FA chairman Greg Clarke is concerned that the season may have to be abandoned.
The UK’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has said the peak of the UK outbreak is most likely 10 to 14 weeks away, which would be late May or early June.
Premier League clubs will meet on Thursday, two days after UEFA holds a video-conference of all its 55 member associations to discuss the effects of the crisis and the probability of the Euro 2020 finals being postponed.
Barbed added: “Every league starts with an expectation of completing all 38 fixtures, as it is in the Premier League, and we want to be able to do that.
“Our intention must be to play the fixtures, but it’s really hard to imagine putting on a football game in the Premier League in two or three weeks’ time given the scenario we are in.
“If we were to freeze the league it would be incredibly unjust for Liverpool to not be awarded the title, because everybody in the game appreciates what a fantastic season they have had. Equally it would be unjust for teams to be relegated with nine or 10 games to go in the Premier League.
“I think it’s a possible option to leave the 20 teams in the league as it is but bring the top two in the Championship up.
“It gives us a larger league, with four relegation places next season and then two teams coming up again. It has some merit but there are a lot of issues to be worked through.”